Land Distribution Too Bureaucratic – Governor

Erongo Regional Governor Cleophas Mutjavikua wants the land distribution resettlement process to be solely handled by the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement to cut down on the waiting period for people to get land.

He says the process involved in land allocation is too time consuming due to the fact that too many ministries are involved, creating too much red tape.

Mutjavikua said the time lapsing between the buying of land and the actual process of land allocation is hopelessly too long and leaves an opportunity for unoccupied farms to be vandalised.

“We must make the period more manageable. Currently there are too many bureaucracies that make the process stressful,” the governor said.

Mutjavikua was speaking at the opening session of the Land Information Sharing Symposium that was held in Omaruru yesterday. The one-day symposium was hosted by the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement to discuss the process of acquiring new farms, resettlement, group resettlement, mining operations on government acquired farms and challenges experienced.

The symposium also looked at the achievements of, and challenges facing resettled farmers and traditional authorities, their involvement in land distribution and the function of the land board.

The symposium was attended by resettled farmers, the land board and relevant institutions and organisations.

Also speaking at the gathering, the Deputy Minister of Lands and Resettlement Theo Diergaardt said although land distribution faces challenges such as water and vandalised infrastructure, the ministry chalked up some positive achievements.

According to Diergaardt, the ministry to date has acquired 21 farms comprising 134 312 hectares of land. “We have so far managed to resettle 38 families and a total of six farms were integrated into communal land.”

He said his ministry also recruited a water response team that would speed up the current challenges of water infrastructure on acquired farms.

“Previously we made use of the ministry of agriculture manpower but we all know that the government process is time consuming and in the meantime farmers are suffering,” he said.

He urged participants and the relevant authorities to submit a detailed report on the matters discussed yesterday before the end of the week to his ministry, so that all challenges and recommendations can be discussed at the ministry’s management meeting to take place in due course.

Diergaardt also said that collective efforts are needed from the government in general, the line ministry as well as farmers to tackle all the challenges facing land distribution.

Source : New Era